November 23rd, 2003


Interference Patterns

It's the early morning in Sarmoung Mansions and the sun won't be rising for a few hours yet. Insomnia has struck again. There's only so long I can lie in bed listening to the World Service before I have to get up and do something. It's a perfect time for journal writing. My, it's 3.25am. I'm sure the 3 o'clock news was on and then a long play about Rwanda, so how come?

Every half hour, a tiny chesspiece of information is moved concerning the current situation in Georgia. At the moment, now 3.30am, the situation is this: Nino Burjanadze, the speaker of the previous parliament, has claimed an interim role of president, Shevardnadze is hiding out somewhere and has declared a state of emergency, Mikhail Saakashvili is doing something or another, possibly having a glass or two of this season's wine, Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, has flown in. It's this last piece of information that bother me the most; Russians do not intervene in border countries to mediate, but in order to protect their interests. It will be a while before it gets any clearer. I pray that the Georgian military maintain their current hands off approach and I suspect that Shevardnadze will find it difficult to mastermind a counterstrike, his hand is all played out and support for him is sorely lacking in the general population. Let's see what the Russians offer him...

I didn't find a single person in Georgia who had a good word to say about Shevardnadze, most people complained about the state of the economy and the collapse of the infrastructure. A few people were nostalgic for the certainties of Soviet times. Georgia did comparatively well out of the system, it always had a reputation as a horn of plenty and food (and wine) was plentiful. I'm not sure how much Shev is personally responsible for the state of the country, there are a whole number of factors in the country's decline, ones shared by almost all former Soviet republics. I'm also not convinced these opposition leaders will do any better. Nevertheless, he does need to go. He needs to realise that he has become the problem and has no further solutions to offer, except to act sensibly and avoid the real dangers of the country collapsing into civil war again.

Of course, political leaders, especially oligarchs like Shevardnadze, are always reticent to abandon power. Politicians all become vampires. You can see this clearly enough in their eyes. You don't think Bush and Blair really ate fish and chips together, do you? That old argument of the Old Man, that being Burroughs, makes more and more sense as time goes on. Political power, one aspect of Control's operations, requires blood sacrifice. It's a magical system, albeit a particularly foul one. Actual souls are needed for the sustenance of world government. These can be taken in variety of ways, most of us have ours stolen long and slow over the years, caterpillars munching their way through cabbage leaves, leaving the plants damaged and unable to photosynthesise - when was the last time you actually thought you might have a soul of any value? It's been mortgaged already. Of course, there's nothing like a real fresh soul, cooked up whole and preferably in large numbers. As he noted, the true horror of atomic weapons was that they actually destroyed souls. Hmm, flick, flick, there's this bit in The Western Lands:

"Well, trial and error. We now have Soul Killers that don't quit. State of the fart, sure, the Big Fart. We all know how it's all going to end. The first sound and the last sound. Meanwhile, all personnel on Planet Earth are confined to quarters. Convince them they got no souls, it's more humane that way.
Scientists always said that there is no such thing as a soul. Now they are in a position to prove it. Total Death. Soul Death. It's what the Egyptians called the Second and Final Death. The awesome power to destroy souls forever is now vested in farsighted and responsible men in the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon."

Curiously, I was reading Burroughs while on holiday in Georgia. It was a collection of his final journals before he died in '97. Although it was good tor read him again, they didn't really add up to anything I felt a need to keep and I part-exchanged it for a recipe book and a copy of The Devils. Maybe someone, somewhere in Tbilisi is keeping a watchful eye out for deadly Russian centipedes at this very moment. Looks at the forces amassing in the streets and casts a long, suspicious eye over the whole affair.